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Glossary of Terms

Our glossary of horticultural terms, covers a wide range of terminology used within our website and catalogue. If you have any questions, or would like further information please give us a call on 015396 23246

Amenity
Used in this context to describe a planting scheme that is designed largely for pleasure & enjoyment, as opposed to for commercial timber or other designated purposes.

Bare Root
Open ground (ie in the field) grown plants which are dug up when dormant in the winter months and supplied with all the soil removed from the roots.

Budbreak
The point in spring at which buds start to open and the leaves unfurl

Budding
A method of propagation by grafting, using a single bud

Canker
A destructive fungal disease of plants or an open wound in the stem of a tree or plant

Conifer
A perennial plant that bears cones, usually evergreen but can sometimes be deciduous

Containerised
A plant raised/grown in a container or pot, rather than in the ground.

Cultivar
The term used for a plant variety which has been cultivated by a nurseryman or gardener, rather than occurring naturally

Cutting Back
Vigorous pruning to promote the next season's growth and/or flowering

Cutting
A method of propagation where a section of plant is completely removed from the mother plant & treated in such a way that it is able to grow roots of its own

Deciduous
A plant that sheds its leaves in autumn

Dieback
Decay from the tip of a shoot towards the main stem or root of a plant

Dormant 
In a state of suspended growth (as in winter)

Evergreen
A plant that keeps its leaves or foliage all year round

Fastigiate
A term used to describe a narrow, columnar form of a tree or shrub

Forest Trees
Trees grown by the million by the forestry industry, usually supplied in small sizes & large quantities, for the planting & replanting of forests & woodlands

Genus
A group of plants having common structural characteristics distinct from those of all other groups

Globose
A plant shape like a gob(e)

Grafting
A method of propagation taking part of one plant & joining it to another that already has its own roots system

Grubbing Up
Clearing the ground of roots & stumps

Half-Standard
A smaller form of the Standard, with a clear stem of between 105-150cm, with the branches above giving an overall tree height of some 180-240cm

Hardy/Hardiness
The ability of a plant to withstand an average winter in a given part of the world/country. The world is split into hardiness zones.

Heeling In
Covering the roots of a plant temporarily with earth before planting finally

Humus
The organic content of soil formed by the decomposition of plant materials

Hybrid
The result of a cross between two different species, hybridisation in the parentage being indicated by the use of an 'X' in the botanical name after the GENUS

Indigenous
Native, belonging naturally

Layering
A method of propagation where a section of shoot or branch is buried while still attached to the whole tree.

Leaf Flush
The first covering of a plant with leaves, usually in spring

Loam
Fertile soil comprised of clay, sand & decayed vegetable matter

Mulch
A layer of material such as bark or compost placed on the soil surface around a plant for the purpose of feeding, weed control &/or insulation.

Mycorrhiza
(Pronounced Mike O'Rizer) A group of mutually beneficial (symbiotic) fungi that colonise a plant's root system and enhance the host's ability to take up water and nutrients from the surrounding soil. Now available as commercially-produced soil additives to boost a new plant's establishment. 

Native
Belonging naturally in the environment and not introduced from another region by man or other agent

Necrosis
The death of tissue caused by disease or injury

Prostrate
A term used t describe the growth habit of a plant that prefers to hug the ground and spread outwards, rather than upwards. Frequently muddled with a vital - yet - mysterious organ in the male reproductive tract that has only one "r" in it.

Pruning
A method of reducing the size of plant for one of the following purposes: to improve or change the shape; to remove dead or diseased growth; to improve flowering

Quarter-Standard
An even smaller form of the Standard with a clear stem of between 75 - 120cm and an overall tree height of some 130-210cm

Rootballed
A plant supplied with the soil intact around the roots and held in place with a piece of hessian or jute and sometimes supported by an annealed iron wire mesh "hairnet"

Root-Pruning
Pruning of the root system by various means to reduce the extent of root growth, for the purpose of restricting the size of the plant or encouraging the production of fibrous roots

Seedling
A young plant raised from seed

Self-Fertile
A plant that is able to pollinate itself and so will produce fruit without the help of another similar plants in its environs.  Bi-sexual plants have male and female flowers on the same plant and can thus be self-fertile.

Senescent
Growing old

Shelter Belt
See "Windbreak"

Sheughing
Gaelic word adopted within the Scottish forestry world for "Heeling in" (see above)

Shrub
A perennial plant with several woody stems at ground level

Species
A group subordinate to the genus, containing plants with common attributes

Specimen
A tree or shrub planted on its own for the appreciation of its individual qualities

Standard
A relatively mature form of nursery stock where the young tree has been pruned and trained so that there is a length of clean stem of between 150-210cm (according to variety), from the top of which a balanced head of young branches springs, giving an overall tree height of some 210-300cm

Transplant
A plant that has been moved from its original location in the nursery as a means of maintaining a compact root system & promoting the production of the fine root hairs responsible for taking up moisture & nutrition from the soil.

Tree
A perennial plant with a single woody stem at ground level

Variety
Botanically recognised sub-division of a species which occurs naturally, in the wild.

Whip
A rather imprecise term variously applied to anything from a seedling to a 150cm high transplant. Not a term favoured by us, as its meaning and useage varies so widely.

Windbreak
A line or plantation of trees &/or shrubs for the purpose of providing shelter by filtering the wind.

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